Friday, August 29, 2014

Celebrations of life are sweet -- if cake and Nillas are involved!

by Lorraine Bartlett / Lorna Barrett / L.L. Bartlett

It was just under a month ago that our family celebrated my mother-in-law Mary's 100th birthday.  She was surrounded by her family (her children, her three favorite nieces, and me, my mother, and my sister-in-law).  Mr. L made a video. We all took loads of pictures.

 The nursing home provided pizza, punch, and we brought a wonderful (HUGE) birthday cake that was gobbled up in no time flat. A good time was had by all.  It was a happy day we will long remember.

Sadly, two days later, Mary suffered a devastating stroke. A week later, she was gone.

Wow. How could such a small lady leave such a big hole in our lives?

The Cozy Chicks sent us a lovely dish garden that we will enjoy for years to come. Every time we see it we think of Mary and of the friendships we've made with the wonderful women here on this blog.  (Love you guys!)

Mary loved Nilla wafers and hard candy. We bought her boxes and boxes of wafers and pounds and pounds of candy, which she shared with members of the nursing home staff.  When we cleared out her room, we found the last box of Nillas in a drawer. It hadn't been opened.

Truthfully, neither of us are fond of Nillas (I'd prefer a GIGANTIC OATMEAL COOKIE with walnuts and raisins!!!) so we aren't likely to eat them. But ... I know that other recipes use Nillas as a base.  Among them, bourbon balls.  Our friend Jean used to make bourbon balls and bring them to work every year at Christmastime. Boy, they sure were the hit of the office party.  (She did NOT spare the bourbon!) I'm sure Mary would have enjoyed bourbon balls (although she drank beer when she was younger, and white wine these past couple of decades).

I've made bourbon balls before, but I was wondering if there were other recipes out there that use Nillas as a base and that you guys have made and enjoyed.  I know I'd be pleased to know about them, and I'm sure those reading the comments would, too.  So, if you have a recipe, please share it.  (If I make one, I'll let you know the results.)